Chaouki T. Abdallah, PhD

Chaouki T. Abdallah, PhD

Executive Vice President for Research, Georgia Institute of Technology (Ga Tech)

Chaouki T. Abdallah began his college career at the Faculté d’ingénierie (ESIB) of the Université Saint-Joseph, then obtained his Bachelors of Engineering (BE) degree from Youngstown State University in 1981, and his MS and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1982, and 1988 respectively. He joined the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department at the University of New Mexico (UNM) where he was professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering. Between 2005 and 2011, he was the ECE department chair and became the Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs of UNM between July 2011 and December 2016. On January 2017 he became acting President, then interim President in June 2017, and finally the 22nd President, a position he held until February 2018 when he returned to his position as Provost until August 31, 2018. He became Professor Emeritus and Provost Emeritus of UNM in August 2018. On September 1, 2018, he became the Executive Vice President for Research at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Ga Tech).

Professor Abdallah was the first recipient of ECE’s Lawton-Ellis Award for combined excellence in teaching, research, and student/community involvement. Professor Abdallah also received the School of Engineering senior research excellence award in 2004, and was the ECE Gardner-Zemke Professor between 2002 and 2005. He received the 2017 UNM Staff Hero award for his “advocacy for staff during difficult financial times and for his support of Staff Council.” He served as director of ECE’s graduate program from 1999 through 2005. Dr. Abdallah was a visiting professor at the Universita Degli Studi di Roma, Tor Vergata, Rome, in 2005. He has published eight books (three as co-editor and five as co-author) and more than 300 peer-reviewed papers, generated more than $9 Million in external funding, and his current h-index stands at 36. As Provost, he has assembled a team to improve student success focusing on underprepared and underrepresented students. Within 7 years, under his leadership, UNM has increased the first-year retention rates by 8%, the four-year graduation rate by 125%, the five-year graduation rate by 8%, and the six-year graduation rate by 15%, while closing the retention achievement gap and narrowing the graduation achievement gap. The team has also designed and implemented degree-plan software that allows current and potential students to investigate and track their coursework progress. He also shepherded the design and implementation of an Honors college that has since increased the number of high-achieving students attending UNM by more than 20%. During his tenure as Provost, he has also increased the ranks of Tenure Track faculty by around 10%, and led three equity salary adjustment programs that affected around 1/3 of the UNM faculty. He also led the development and implementation of a long-range Academic plan and initiatives in 2011.
Professor Abdallah continues to conduct research and to teach courses in the general area of systems theory with focus on control, communications, and computing systems. His research has been funded by NSF, AFOSR, NRL, national laboratories, and by various companies. He served as the general chair of the 2008 CDC, the premier IEEE conference in Decision & Control, which was held in Cancun, Mexico. Professor Abdallah is a senior member of IEEE and a recipient of the IEEE Millennium medal. Professor Abdallah is fluent in English, French, and Arabic.